Definitions

nahro

Local Initiatives Support Corporation

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is a not-for-profit organization that combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help community-based organizations revitalize under-served neighborhoods throughout the United States.

Mission

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is dedicated to helping nonprofit community development organizations transform distressed neighborhoods into healthy and sustainable communities of choice and opportunity -- good places to work, do business and raise children. LISC is committed to building Sustainable Communities that offer the positive environments needed to ensure that all residents of varied income levels are provided the opportunities and tools to build assets, to participate in the benefits inuring to their communities, and to become part of the mainstream economy. This commitment is realized through five goals:

  • Developing, preserving, and investing in the physical environment
  • Increasing family income and wealth
  • Stimulating economic activity, locally and regionally
  • Improving access to quality education
  • Fostering livable, safe, and healthy environments

History

LISC was created in 1979 by the Ford Foundation to identify and support 50 to 100 community development corporations (CDCs) worthy of financial support. Since 1980, LISC has invested $8.6 billion, which has leveraged $25.3 billion in total development. These investments have supported the creation of 230,000 affordable homes and apartments; of retail & community space; 95 schools financed for 38,000 students; 146 child care facilities supported for 15,400 children; and 187 playing fields renovated for 374,000 kids.

Timeline

1979 LISC is organized by the Ford Foundation to identify and support 50 to 100 community groups worthy of financial support. By 2004, LISC had served more than 2,800 community development corporations (CDCs) nationwide.

1980 LISC is formally announced on May 23, funded by $10 million from the Ford Foundation and six major corporate donors and lenders. Mike Sviridoff is LISC’s first President.

1982 LISC establishes its first local “areas of concentration” in the South Bronx, Boston and Chicago, based on matching contributions from the private sector. Today, LISC operates in 30 urban areas and in rural areas in 36 states.

1984 With the opening of its California program, LISC begins to operate a truly coast-to-coast nationwide program.

1985 Paul S. Grogan succeeds Mike Sviridoff as LISC’s President.

1986 Boston LISC organizes a Neighborhood Development Support Collaborative, the first such local operating support fund for CDCs. This model has since been replicated in 22 cities across the country.

1987 Using the Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit, LISC creates the National Equity Fund (NEF) with a total capitalization of $15 million; over the next 18 years, NEF invests more than $5 billion to create more than 75,000 affordable rental homes and apartments.

1988 In partnership with the City of New York, LISC and 10 CDCs begin a massive citywide housing renovation program with the goal of creating 1,000 affordable apartments. Today, more than 20,000 apartments have been produced.

1989 The first national census of CDCs, by the National Congress for Community Economic Development (NCCED), identifies approximately 1,500 CDCs nationwide—a more than sevenfold increase over national estimates in the mid-1970s.

1990 LISC expands to 26 geographic program areas, supporting close to 800 CDCs.

1991 Fifteen foundations and corporations form the National Community Development Initiative (now Living Cities). It is the largest philanthropic collaborative in history, investing $543 million in community development corporations and intermediaries over the next 14 years.

1994 LISC’s new strategic plan calls for the “build-out” of the community development industry nationwide. LISC dedicates technical, financial, and organizational resources to new areas of community development including child care, community safety, organizational development and commercial revitalization.

1995 Rural LISC is formed, aiming to demonstrate the value of investing in and through rural CDCs. In twelve years it has provided Partner CDCs with close to $593 million, helping them develop 16,568 affordable homes, over two million square feet of commercial, industrial and community facilities and assist 336 small businesses.

1997 Together with the National Football League Youth Football Fund, LISC starts the NFL Grassroots Program, an initiative to create safe and accessible playing fields in urban neighborhoods. Today, LISC has supported more than 150 fields through the NFL partnership.

1998 Spearheaded by Rural LISC, a national coalition of 750 organizations launches Stand Up for Rural America, a campaign to help rural CDCs gain the attention, resources and policy support their work deserves.

1999 Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin becomes Chairman of LISC’s Board of Directors, and Michael Rubinger succeeds Paul S. Grogan as President.

2000 LISC provides start-up capital for the Community Development Trust, the nation’s first real estate investment trust created solely for the purpose of acquiring community development assets.

2001 State Farm Insurance Companies provides LISC with $25 million in grants and loans, the largest single corporate commitment in LISC’s history, to support CDCs’ growing commercial and retail activity.

2002 Supported by the Walton Family Foundation, LISC launches the Educational Facilities Financing Center (EFFC) to finance the building of charter school facilities in low-income communities. To date, LISC has approved approximately $43 million in loans or grants to 47 individual schools for their facilities needs and an additional $31 million in financing for ten local facilities funds projected to provide $290 million in facilities financing for charter schools, making LISC one of the largest providers of facility financing in the sector.

2003 LISC starts a new affiliate—the New Markets Support Company—to invest New Markets Tax Credits in commercial projects such as retail storefronts, industrial and manufacturing buildings, and artist space. To date, LISC has received $428 million in investment authority and has invested in thirty projects around the country.

2004 LISC has its strongest year ever with over $720 million in grants, loans and equity invested in CDCs and community projects.

2006 LISC begins implementation of its new Strategic Plan — Building Sustainable Communities — to create neighborhoods that are good places to live, do business, work and raise families. LISC establishes a new commercial markets advisory service to spur retail and commercial activity. LISC also establishes the Gulf Region Rebuilding Initiative to aid in the redevelopment of the hurricane-devastated Gulf Coast. LISC reaches $1 billion in low-income community investment.

2007 LISC establishes a new program to support family income and wealth, centered around Centers for Working Families. LISC reaches $1.06 billion in neighborhood investment, its second consecutive billion-dollar investment year.

Board of Directors

Robert E. Rubin – Director, Chairman of the Executive Committee
Member of the Office of the Chairman, Citi

Phyllis Caldwell – President, Washington Area Women's Foundation
Lisa Cashin
Barbara Cowden – Executive Vice President, State Farm
Larry H. Dale – Chairman, The National Equity Fund, Inc.
William M. Daley – Vice Chairman & Chairman of the Midwest Region, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
John G. Finneran – Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Capital One Financial Corporation
Pamela P. Flaherty – Director of Corporate Citizenship, Citi, President & CEO, Citi Foundation
Roger Goodell – Commissioner, National Football League
Colvin W. Grannum – President, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation
Antonia Hernandez – President, California Community Foundation
Valerie Jarrett – President & CEO, The Habitat Company
Kevin Johnson – Chief Executive Officer, St. Hope Public Schools
Linda K. Knight – Executive Vice President of Enterprise Operations, Fannie Mae
Lynette Lee – Executive Director, East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation
Bill Longbrake – Vice Chair, Washington Mutual
Philip D. Murphy – Principal, Murphy Endeavors, LLC
Ronald Phillips – President, Coastal Enterprises
Andrew Plepler – President, Bank of America Foundation
Rey Ramsey – Chief Executive Officer, One Economy Corporation
Don Randel – President, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Richard “Rip” Rapson – President & CEO, The Kresge Foundation
Michael Rubinger – President & CEO, Local Initiatives Support Corporation
Arthur Ryan – Chairman, President & CEO, Prudential Financial Inc.
Paul Tagliabue – Former Commissioner, National Football League
George H. Walker – Managing Director, Lehman Brothers
Seth H. Waugh – Chief Executive Officer, Deutsche Bank Americas

Executive Leadership

Michael Rubinger - President & CEO
Michael Levine - Executive Vice President & General Counsel
Elizabeth Pugh - Executive Vice President & CFO
Michael Tierney - Executive Vice President & COO

Local Offices

LISC local offices serve 30 urban areas and Rural LISC works with over 70 partner CDC's in 36 states nationwide.

North East
Boston, MA
Buffalo, NY
Connecticut Statewide
Greater Newark & Jersey City, NJ
Hartford, CT
New York, NY
Philadelphia, PA
Rhode Island
Washington, DC

Midwest
Chicago, IL
Detroit, MI
Duluth, MN
Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky
Greater Kansas City, MO
Indianapolis, IN
Michigan Statewide
Milwaukee, WI
Toledo, OH
Twin Cities, MN

South
Baton Rouge – Gulf Region Rebuilding Initiative
Jacksonville, FL
Mid-South Delta
South Florida
Virginia

West
Houston, TX
Los Angeles, CA
Phoenix, AZ
San Diego, CA
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Impact Capital/Washington State

National Programs in the 5 Goals of Sustainable Communities

At the national level, LISC offers a wide range of technical assistance to CDCs and nonprofits through the following programs:

Goal 1: Developing, preserving, and investing in the physical environment

Affordable Housing Preservation Initiative

LISC established its Affordable Housing Preservation Initiative to strengthen efforts toward preservation and promote preservation-oriented public policies. LISC has helped nonprofit community development corporations (CDCs) acquire and preserve housing developments, build partnerships with housing authorities and other organizations, and advocate for government policies that can reduce the loss of affordable homes and apartments. Local LISC offices help identify properties at risk, raise awareness of the potential impact on the surrounding community, and maintain long-standing partnerships with CDCs, other nonprofit and for-profit developers, banks, foundations, and state and local governments. The national housing preservation staff specializes in assessing preservation opportunities, advising on project strategy, and developing innovative financing. To date, LISC has committed nearly $80 million to support the preservation of over 15 thousand affordable homes in urban, suburban, and rural communities.

Providing housing at rents that lower-income people can afford is not just an act of public generosity. It is an economic and physical development strategy and an important part of overall public policy for most kinds of communities. Affordable housing serves a number of public purposes:

  • Supplying starter homes for young or lower income families;
  • Providing a place for lower-wage employees to live near work;
  • Preventing homelessness;
  • Helping elderly people remain near family and friends once they can no longer maintain or afford their former homes;
  • Creating and preserving strong, mixed income communities.

Housing Authority ResourceCenter (HARC)

LISC’s Housing Authority Resource Center (HARC) creates relationships between local housing authorities and other community developers, including community development corporations (CDCs), both nationally and in neighborhoods across the country.

By providing access to best practices, information, and training, LISC has helped connect these worlds to develop creative and collaborative solutions to local problems. HARC teams with local LISC offices and the National Equity Fund (NEF) to build the development capacity of local housing authorities that are considering public housing redevelopment, new housing development, and commercial revitalization and identifies financing and partnership structures that will leverage public resources with private investment. HARC also promotes the effective use of asset-building resources such as Section 8 Homeownership and the Family Self Sufficiency program.

Low-Income Housing Tax Credits

The federal low income housing tax credit was established in 1986 to encourage private investment in affordable rental housing. LISC’s affiliate, National Equity Fund, Inc. (NEF), is the nation’s largest nonprofit syndicator of the credits, providing equity capital for multifamily housing projects. Since 1987, NEF has been involved in developing 1,300 affordable housing developments in 250 urban communities and rural areas.

Vacant Properties Initiative

LISC’s Vacant Properties Initiative (VPI) helps communities intervene in the cycle of property abandonment to stabilize and revitalize neighborhoods. VPI provides practitioners and policymakers with models, research, and technical assistance to support efforts to improve systems, policies, and practices that can help prevent abandonment and return vacant properties to productive use.

As a key component of VPI, LISC provides technical assistance to communities across the country to help them address legal, organizational, and information challenges. In collaboration with the National Vacant Properties Campaign, LISC has worked in over 20 cities to help policy makers, builders, government officials, nonprofits, and residents to turn vacant properties into vehicles for positive change. Typically, VPI teams up national experts on issues such as tax foreclosure, land bank authorities, zoning and code enforcement, and property information systems to help diagnose problems and identify workable solutions tailored to the local context. VPI offers a variety of resources—including referrals to knowledgeable experts, opportunities to exchange information with practitioners and experts via web training sessions and conference calls, basic research, and direct fee-for-service technical assistance.

In New Orleans, Louisiana, VPI and LISC’s Gulf Rebuilding Initiative have teamed up with the National Vacant Properties Campaign to create and staff the New Orleans Vacant Properties Initiative. This initiative provides ongoing technical assistance and coordination to the City of New Orleans, the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, nonprofits, and other community groups to assist them in creating effective systems for acquiring and disposing of the thousands of vacant properties left in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

LISC co-founded the National Vacant Properties Campaign in 2003 with Smart Growth America, the International City/County Management Association, and oversees the Campaign along with Smart Growth America, Virginia Tech, and the Genesee Institute. With support from the FannieMae Foundation, the US Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Housing and Urban Development, the C.S. Mott Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, the Greater Orleans Foundation, and the Surdna Foundation, the Campaign is working to elevate the issue of vacant properties among policy makers, and build the national knowledge base on this topic by developing a national network of vacant property practitioners and experts via annual forums, workshops, and list serves. VPI also provides policy tools, research, and information resources that are accessible through the Campaign’s website (www.vacantproperties.org) and offering direct technical assistance to specific localities.

Goal 2: Increasing family income and wealth

Centers for Working Families

The Centers for Working Families (CWF) are one-stop, neighborhood-based facilities that provide job services, financial counseling, fairly-priced financial products, free tax preparation, and screening for public benefits. Based on a concept developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, CWFs help families become more financially secure in three critical areas: increased wages, improved finances and access to public benefits. Despite years of building and strengthening community-based employment centers, wages among participants in LISC-funded programs remain relatively low. LISC and others concluded that employment alone is not always enough to help low-income households achieve financial independence.

Centers for Working Families Offer Families Several Significant advantages:

  • Job services are available to all participants for as long as they need them. CWF sites offer job placement, job retention, re-placement, and career advancement assistance to all residents of the community, as well as their friends and family.
  • One-on-one financial counseling is provided to all participants by full-time experts with extensive experience in money management. CWF counselors include former private sector bank branch managers, financial planners, and certified credit counselors.
  • Fairly-priced financial products and services are made available through CWF partner banks and credit unions. Customized banking products reduce dependency on payday loans and other costly financial instruments.
  • Free tax services increase family income by maximizing use of the Earned Income Tax Credit (worth up to $4,300 annually for low-income families).
  • State-of-the-art software screens participants for public benefits eligibility. CWF staff assess eligibility for benefits such as food stamps, health insurance for children, and fuel assistance; this information is then used to help participants apply for and access these resources.


Goal 3: Stimulating economic activity, locally and regionally

Commercial Markets Advisory Service (CMAS)

LISC’s Commercial Markets Advisory Service (CMAS) is LISC’s economic development strategic business unit. CMAS staff and pre-qualified consultants provide training, technical assistance and additional resources to local LISC offices in commercial corridor revitalization, commercial development and retail attraction strategies. CMAS also features LISC MetroEdge, a powerful and unique market assessment tool developed by ShoreBank Advisory Services and refined by LISC.

Commercial corridors are the economic pulse of vibrant, exciting neighborhoods. They also provide opportunities for wealth creation through new business opportunities, jobs for local residents, and in the best case scenario, places where healthy affordable food and services can be purchased. CMAS strives to provide communities with the guidance, tools and resources to ensure that their neighborhoods are places where residents feel safe to work, shop, and interact with each other. Their areas of expertise include:

  • Composing comprehensive strategic plans;
  • Working alongside MetroEdge to formulate market analysis and assist in implementation;
  • Acting as a liaison to local LISC offices and their CDCs to attract desirable retailers, like supermarkets;
  • Training practioners in the fundamentals of real estate development; and
  • Utilizing the National Vacant Properties Campaign to support the reclamation of vacant properties.

New Markets Support Company and the New Markets Tax Credits

LISC established its affiliate, New Markets Support Company (NMSC), to serve as a bridge between community groups wishing to use the tax credits for development projects in their neighborhoods, and investors wishing to invest in those projects. Since 2004, NMSC has been involved in tax credit financing of $44.6 million in projects in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Washington State.

LISC is a pioneer in the development and use of New Markets Tax Credits to stimulate private capital investment in communities with high levels of economic distress and transform them into good places to work, do business and raise children. A pioneer in the creation and use of this new federal program, LISC has focused its efforts on financing the development of commercial and community space and housing that generate jobs, provide needed goods and services, and reverse physical deterioration in struggling communities.

100% of our transactions involve real estate development in communities that meet the CDFI Fund’s criteria for “High Distress.” In these areas, perceptions of higher risk translate into prohibitively high costs of capital and/or inadequate financing. LISC uses NMTCs to solve these financing problems and provide a timely and financially viable way for communities to realize the benefits of a given project. Within LISC's focus area, transactions can take on a variety of shapes and sizes to ensure that they address specific community needs, align with on-going initiatives, and stimulate wider economic revitalization. This flexibility has yielded projects ranging from shopping centers, to arts-related facilities, incubator space for local entrepreneurs, charter schools, day care centers, and other community facilities. LISC's national network of community developers and our strong relationships with engaged investors provide a constant flow of new projects and ready capital that allows us to maintain an extensive project pipeline. Likewise, our deep community development and tax-credit financing expertise allow us to deliver high quality acquisition and asset management services. These capacities build confidence and ensure the efficient and effective deployment of our Investor Partners’ high-impact capital.

The National Equity Fund, Inc. (NEF) manages LISC’s NMTC Program. NEF is LISC’s tax-credit equity affiliate and has invested more than $5.5 billion in low income communities over the past twenty years.

MetroEdge

LISC MetroEdge (LME) supports commercial corridor revitalization efforts throughout low-income neighborhoods in the United States by spotlighting their hidden retail profitability. To combat pernicious stereotypes of low-income areas as devoid of retail market potential, LME combines rigorous quantitative analysis with expert knowledge of retail development to identify low-income market advantages, assess market gaps, propose corrective public sector actions, and engage community leaders in retail strategy development.

Conventional retail market assessment tools rely on off-the-shelf national data sources that can be analyzed quickly and presented to chain retailers operating primarily in higher-income and homogeneous suburban markets. Unlike traditional methods, LME relies on national and local sources of data to develop powerful new metrics of retail market potential customized to specific neighborhoods. Through hands-on work with community groups, local governments and other stakeholders, results are used to describe the marketplace, educate stakeholders, highlight pre-requisites for development, and steer scarce resources in the most productive directions.

Formerly a subsidiary of Shorebank Corporation of Chicago, MetroEdge became part of LISC in early 2006 through support provided by the MacArthur Foundation.

Goal 4: Improving access to quality education

Community Investment Collaborative for Kids (CICK)

LISC’s Community Investment Collaborative for Kids (CICK) offers financial and technical assistance for the development of new, quality child care facilities in high need communities across the country. CICK brings all parties to the table – public officials, child care providers, philanthropies and others to devise comprehensive solutions to the child care supply problem.

CICK specializes in crafting statewide programs that address the capital and technical assistance needs of the child care industry, and has raised over $8 million in public and private funding to launch two statewide child care facilities lending funds in Connecticut and Rhode Island that offer a comprehensive package of resource and services for the renovation and construction of facilities. CICK plays a leadership role in the National Children’s Facilities Network, a 25-member coalition of nonprofit organizations involved in facilities financing and development. The network provides a critical forum for sharing successful strategies and lessons learned, as well as promoting legislation to support more public investment in quality child care facilities in low-income neighborhoods.

Educational Facilities Financing Center (EFFC)

LISC’s Educational Facilities Financing Center (EFFC) supports the development of quality public charter and alternative schools in underserved communities through the provision of technical assistance and facilities financing. Improving access to quality education is a central component of LISC’s Sustainable Communities strategic plan.

LISC supports quality public charter and alternative schools in low-income neighborhoods by providing on-the-ground assistance to individual charter schools through LISC’s network of 30 local offices and by developing educational funds that finance multiple school projects in specific markets through its Educational Facilities Financing Center. Since making its first charter school loan in 1997, LISC has approved approximately $43 million in loans or grants to 47 individual schools for their facilities needs and an additional $31 million in financing for ten local facilities funds projected to provide $290 million in facilities financing for charter schools, making LISC one of the largest providers of facility financing in the sector.

EFFC pools low-interest loan funds and leverages them for investment in local educational facilities funds that help finance new or renovated facilities for multiple schools in a single geographic market or nonprofit charter management organization. LISC has raised $60 million for this effort, with primary support from the Walton Family Foundation (WFF), Prudential Financial and the U.S. Department of Education’s Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program. EFFC has used these funds to create a $35 million Education Loan Fund and an $11 million Credit Enhancement Fund which it has invested in ten local funds to date, including funds in California, Indiana, Massachusetts, upstate New York, and Southwestern Pennsylvania as well as several nonprofit charter networks, including the national network of KIPP schools.

To achieve long-term sustainability, permanent financing mechanisms that provide charter schools with consistent funding streams and increased access to public facility financing must eventually be implemented. EFFC is identifying replicable financing mechanisms, providing consulting to charter support organizations and sharing best practices within the sector. With grant funds from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the WFF and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, EFFC has published three studies that examine charter school facility financing: “ The Finance Gap: Charter Schools and their Facilities” (2004), “ The Charter School Facility Finance Landscape” (2005) and “ The 2007 Charter School Facility Finance Landscape” (2007).

Goal 5: Fostering livable, safe, and healthy environments

Community Safety Initiative (CSI)

The Community Safety Initiative (CSI) builds long-term partnerships between police departments, community developers and residents in troubled neighborhoods that lead to reduced crime and improved quality of life. Since 1999, CSI’s congressionally funded partnership with the Department of Justice has leveraged over $6.2 million in private investment to support community safety, which in turn has paved the way for more than $263 million in commercial and residential real estate development. CSI’s highly successful public-private partnerships have earned national recognition from academic institutions, local governments and statewide law enforcement organizations.

Green Development Center

LISC’s Green Development Center provides financial resources, technical information, partnership opportunities, and education to LISC programs and the community development field, all in support of efforts to accelerate the use of green design, construction, and management principles in the built environment of low-income neighborhoods.

As the largest organization supporting community development in our nation’s urban and rural communities, LISC believes that greener buildings are key components in achieving sustainable communities of choice and opportunity – good places to work, do business and raise children.

Energy-efficient and resource-efficient buildings with healthier indoor air:

  • Preserve family income and wealth by lowering utility bills and increasing home values
  • Connect neighborhoods to green-related job opportunities in the design and building trades
  • Provide schools with better learning environments, and stronger operating margins
  • Support healthier lifestyles by exposing residents to fewer toxic substances, lessening respiratory problems


Using grants received by LISC, the Center has channeled resources to advance LISC’s local green development support work.

Partners include: Global Green, USA, New Ecology, Inc., Southface, Energy Institute, and Earthpledge.

NFL Grassroots

LISC’s NFL Grassroots Program, established in 1998, is a partnership of the National Football League’s Youth Football Fund and LISC. It provides neighborhood-based organizations and schools with grants and technical assistance to build new football fields or refurbish old ones. The program, funded by NFL teams and the NFL Players Association, not only creates recreational opportunities for young people, it also acts as a catalyst for community development. Since its inception, the program has distributed $20 million in grants to help build more than 150 playing fields in 50 metropolitan areas where NFL teams play. Improving access to quality recreational facilities is a central component of LISC’s Sustainable Communities strategic plan.

Finding the most promising sites and sponsors, helping to assemble effective partnerships and funding sources, and equipping community organizations to shoulder the long-term responsibility for field management are among the many critical services that LISC provides in the Grassroots Program. The following teams have helped restore fields in the communities where they play: Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, and Washington Redskins. The NFL also supports youth recreation in Los Angeles.

Youth Development and Recreation

LISC's Youth Development and Recreation Program was formally launched in 1998, based upon the initial success of the NFL Grassroots Program In addition to LISC's partnership with the NFL, LISC is working via a series of local and national efforts to become more involved in Youth Development and Recreation. Most of that work concentrates on creating the physical spaces where young people learn and play. These efforts, which include potential partnerships with other major sports leagues, are works-in-progress.

Special Programs

AmeriCorps

In 1994 LISC began its sponsorship of an AmeriCorps program as an additional strategy to help community development corporations (CDCs) help themselves. LISC AmeriCorps is part of the National Service Network, administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Members help promote volunteerism and civic engagement by encouraging neighbors to take active roles in helping to transform their communities. LISC AmeriCorps members help to develop affordable housing and provide home ownership counseling to prospective first-time low-income homebuyers. They also participate in community building activities in neighborhoods and with residents to form crime watches, neighborhood groups, tenants associations and collaborations between local service providers. Members work with youth to provide opportunities to participate in sports, other recreation programs and after school activities that include tutoring, homework assistance and reading enrichment for underachieving students.

Since its inception, LISC/AmeriCorps has enlisted 1,394 members to work with neighborhood organizations in 23 cities nationwide. Those volunteers have assisted with the following:

  • Increasing home ownership and housing development - LISC/AmeriCorps members have helped nearly 35,000 individuals with all aspects of home ownership, including budgeting, credit counseling and mortgage approvals. Members also aided in the development of more than 7,000 new or rehabbed affordable housing units.
  • Youth development - LISC/AmeriCorps members have established after school programs for nearly 24,000 youths in predominately minority and immigrant neighborhoods across the country, where they provide educational activities such as tutoring, homework assistance and reading enrichment. Members have also involved young people in recreational, cultural and sports activities.
  • Creating strong, accountable community institutions - LISC/AmeriCorps members have helped form 764 neighborhood groups and associations, including crime watch groups, tenant associations, and partnerships among local service providers.


Partners: Corporation for National and Community Service; Bank of America; Bronson Healthcare; Irving S. Gilmore Foundation; John Hancock Financial Services, Inc.; Living Cities; State Farm Insurance Companies

Gulf Region Rebuilding Initiative

Through its Gulf Region Rebuilding Initiative, LISC has made a long term commitment to assist communities damaged by hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. This effort, which includes a variety of grants, loans, tax credits and technical assistance, involves nearly every LISC national program and affiliate, as well as LISC's Mid South Delta office. LISC's activities include:

  • Raising grant, loans and equity to finance new and rehabilitated homes, stimulate economic development, and restore the community infrastructure in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. LISC's National Equity Fund has established a special equity fund earmarked for Hurricane Katrina redevelopment efforts. In addition, LISC is providing capacity building and predevelopment grants and low cost loans to CDCs in the region.
  • Providing technical assistance and expertise to build the capacity of local, community-based organizations.
  • Advocating federal funding and tax credits designated for local community redevelopment in the area. This involves four major policy issues: allocating additional Low Income Housing Tax Credits and New Markets Tax Credits for Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi; enacting the Home Ownership Tax Credit for Katrina impact areas; supplemental appropriations for Community Development Block Grants, the HOME program, and Section 8; and ensuring that subsidies associated with Section 8, 236, and 221 properties destroyed by Hurricane Katrina be available for replacement housing.

Policy

Distressed communities need supportive public policies to rebuild. LISC maintains an active public policy presence at the federal, state and local levels. The objectives of LISC's policy initiatives are established through careful collaboration with our local offices and LISC’s Public Policy Advisory Committee. LISC’s policy office assists local program offices along with rural and urban CDCs with the advocacy process while working with other national and state organizations on wide-ranging community development issues.

LISC’s locally driven and partnership-based approach to policy attracts support from both ends of the political spectrum. Rural and urban policy makers alike recognize LISC’s well-documented success in building communities while leveraging substantial private capital. Additionally, LISC’s holistic approach to building communities attracts policy allies from the from business, social service, education, environmental, and community development sectors.

Research and Assessment

[Under Construction]

Smart Growth

Community development is “smart” growth because healthy, competitive core neighborhoods and communities are critical to economically and socially sustainable regions. For 25 years LISC’s financing, grants and technical assistance, has enabled CDCs and their local partners to build whole communities that link housing to goods and services, transit, jobs, schools, recreation, child care, and green space. LISC nurtures physical renewal of existing communities as part of strong, well managed regions with a good quality of life for all people.

Communities are the place where the principles of smart growth play out, and CDC work is the embodiment of smart growth through its success at building and preserving mixed and low income housing, reinvestment in neighborhood schools, revitalization of commercial and retail corridors, reuse of brownfields and vacant properties, enhancement of transit options, rebuilding of green space and recreational facilities, and environmentally-sustainable construction.

Just as LISC’s unique links between the private, government, and nonprofit sectors have leveraged significant public/private resources for community revitalization, so our links at the national and local levels build bridges between regional and smart growth players and neighborhoods. LISC espouses the importance of existing communities to the economic and social futures of metropolitan areas and we provide an entry to a vast network of community players. Partnerships with several Federal Reserve Banks, for example, have provided forums for national, regional, and local players to consider the economic and social benefits of whole neighborhoods as part of successful regions.

Affiliates

Partners

CDFI Coalition
Consortium for Housing and Asset Management (CHAM)
KnowledgePlex
National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders
National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO)
National Congress for Community Economic Development (NCCED)
National Council of State Housing Agencies
National Low Income Housing Coalition
National Registry of CPE Sponsors
National Resource Center on Charter School Finance and Governance
National Rural Housing Coalition
National Vacant Properties Campaign
Nonprofit Finance Fund
One Economy Corporation
Opportunity Finance Network
Reed Smith
Smart Growth America (SGA)

See also

External links

Search another word or see nahroon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature